Chocolate confectionery has been struggling in 2020, hit by quarantines and closures as well as the loss of impulse and on-the-go consumption occasions due to Coronavirus (COVID-19). Some of this has been offset by increasing at-home consumption, helping products such as tablets, countlines and chocolate pouches and bags to perform well. However, seasonal chocolate and boxed assortments have been severely hit by an Easter spent in lockdown and the loss of many gifting occasions.
Certain chocolate products – tablets, countlines, pouches and bags – were in demand among consumers during 2020 as consumers looked for affordable treats whilst spending much longer than normal at home, due to lockdowns/quarantines and remote working/learning.
At an overall market level, however, chocolate confectionery sales were in decline in 2020, hit by the major falls seen in categories like boxed assortments, seasonal chocolate and chocolate with toys. These products tend to have higher prices, not ideal with consumers struggling financially due to the pandemic and generally prioritising more essential purchases. They were also suffering from reduced gifting occasions as well with COVID-19 hitting the region around Easter time.
Boxed assortments will see a strong rebound in 2021 and, like chocolate with toys, will record positive growth throughout the forecast period. Products in the market will also benefit from the return of more impulse sales as people’s habits return to normal in the post-pandemic period. Consumers will be commuting to work again and people will also be travelling once more, increasing the need for on-the-go snacking.
A regional CAGR of 3% is expected over 2020-2025, with all product areas recording positive CAGRs. Boxed assortments will be most dynamic, albeit partly down to its strong rebound in 2021 after the sharp decline in 2020. A number of countries in the region are introducing on-pack warning systems to highlight products with high levels of potentially harmful content. While this could put some pressure on players to develop healthier products, it is not expected to have a major impact on chocolate confectionery over the forecast period.
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